My mom and I were pulling out nativity scenes and ornaments and I thought of last year. We had the annual junior high Christmas party at our apartment. Lots of thirteen to fifteen-year-olds, hot cider, cookies, silly games, the Christmas story, carols for the neighbors and a craft. Here are pictures of the nativity scene we made. (Who made which pieces? If you know, please tell!)
And then Christina and I hosted a party for all of the people that we would see in our daily routes--neighbors, the fruit guy, the coffee shop workers, the lady at the bread shop, etc. Awkward small talk (to be expected) and way-too-many cookies (to be expected), hot cider (what? no alcohol!? ...oops. guess i'm not slovene!), silly games, a reading of the Christmas story (but it was in slovene, so we assigned parts for them to read. strange since ...huh? Bible? wha-huh??) and the craft (for adults?? hum).
First off, it was clear that Christina and I are quite familiar with planning youth events, not as practiced at planning events for adults. Second, it was painfully obvious that we are not Slovene, but quite sincerely American. And third, even with all the quirky, irky, gawky moments of the evening...I think we all felt happy and Christmas-y and glad to be together. I sure won't forget that evening for a loooong time. Brad and Kindra were with us. I totally wish we had pictures, but I think that would only have increased the awkward feelings. However, some of the figures in the nativity scene were produced that evening. And hey, I gotta say:
Christmas isn't about being comfortable, safe and at home. Mary and Joseph left their home and traveled far that evening. Jesus left his Father, left comfort and came to make his family bigger, right? The shepherds left their mountainsides to worship the baby in a manger. The wise men left their lands to bring him gifts. So, I suppose a little awkwardness, a little uncomfortableness, a little vulnerablity is quite a fitting way to celebrate Christmas.
Glory to God in the highest! Peace on earth, good will to men on whom his favor rests.